A wandrian was pushing weary feet over the borders of Fleure. Just behind him the heavy cluster of trees marking the edge of the Dark Wood lay silent against the backdrop of a rising sun. Ision Fervere Vae watched the dawn lift rosy hued blooms into the grey sky, the explosion of color and light like a quivering mirror of the meadow below. His brown eyes turned from the flush on the horizon to the dew-drenched grasses that stood about him, the tips of the green blades rising far above his head.
His wandrian was drawing near its close. He could feel it, though his weary journey had as yet brought him no peace. Fleure, with her green walled houses and her fields of rampant color, stood before him, awaiting his judgement. Would he find his einde here? He felt he would not. His wandrian had been coupled with a quest, a quest his heart knew could not be fulfilled until he had traversed every stretch of land in the boundaries of Erthe. There were places beyond Fleure, and somehow, despite the touch of the sun on his cheek and the moist grass that shaded his face, cooling his weary limbs, he knew he must find his einde beyond the far borders of Fleure.
He stood now, at the far western edge of Fleure, where the ground sloped into a rocky point, and the sea frothed about it on two sides. He had come from the Dark Wood only hours before, and spread his wings westward, wanting to begin his discovering of Fleure from its farthest edge. He blinked in the glare of sun on sea, his eyes drifting across the green grass and the fierce crimson of the flowers that bordered it, and back to the yellow of the desert sand that had blown from the Ankrudst to speckle the earthy cliff grass.
Something caught his eye, a dark shape within the glimmer of the morning. The sun flickered over it, and caught the glitter of faerie wings. Ision’s back turned from Fleure and his body pushed resolutely forward. His muscles had grown tight, his hands hanging unconsciously limp at his sides. The dark shape before him began to grow clearer in outline, and Ision slowed, his jaw tensed.
It was a faerie, lying with his face upward, his arms and legs splayed about him, his young shape painted with crimson. Ision knelt, but his hands stayed at his sides. The faerie was dead, his body hardly distinguishable beneath the mass of blood and mangled flesh he had become. It was lizard’s work. Ision felt his body quivering at the sight of it. His limbs had grown numb, but his chest felt terribly cold. The dark, jagged lines of the dead faerie’s wounds tore at his memory.
The pain had shook him, ripping his breath away. The lizard’s eyes, like glowing embers in his dark face, flushed with the glory of the pain he was inflicting. He pulled his tail back, and thrust it forward to throw again at his victim.
Ision shook the thoughts away. That time in his life was over and gone. He needn’t think of it. His eyes turned again to the broken body before him. This faerie had fought the same as he had. He mustn’t lay here, his sacrifice degraded because it was undiscovered. Ision slid his wandrian cloak from his shoulders, and bent to lift the body onto it. He pulled the corners of the cloak together, and slid them across his body, the burden weightless on his strong shoulders. Then he turned again toward Fleure.